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August 5, 2014
Techie Brokerage's Big Plans
We got the exclusive on one tech and startup brokerage's expansion plansforS.F. and beyond. The first step: nab two Cushman heavyweights (and they aren't talking about couches).
C&W's Jon Dishotsky and Cutter MacLeod just joined Jenny Haeg (pictured above, with Jon) at Custom Spaces, where the team is working on over 60 active deals totaling 1M SF and with a fresh batch of 60 companies every quarter. (Jenny launched Custom Spaces in 2011 and works exclusively withstartups, VC firms, and tech companies, including Airbnb, Spotify,and Square, to name a few.) With all this work, the firm—now at six people—plans to double in a year, as well as expand to NYC. The firm's new office at 58 South Park sits in a neighborhood that's ground zero for SoMa startups and a popular pit stop for a young lunchtime crowd.
In addition to S.F., the team (Cutter is pictured to the far left) is finding tenants spaces in New York, LA, Tokyo, Berlin, and DC. Instead of going the traditional, secure high-rise route in the Financial District for its own offices, the brokerage sits on the ground floor at 58 South Park and encourages clients to pop in and out. (Jenny spotted the space's for-rent sign, which had only been up for a few hours. She immediately dialed the agent and sealed the deal.)
One job criteria at Custom Spaces: You must walk—or roll—the startup talk (the office just got scooters, above). There are skateboards too, which keeps Cutter (a former pro) happy as a clam, while Jon mans the music (he was deejaying house parties in high school with vinyl records during the last tech boom). Jon just wrapped up the last two floors for Optimizely at 631 Howard, taking the balance of the 100k SF building; Jon and Cutter's tech-heavy client list also includes Weebly and Scribd and they've collectively leased some 4M SF of office space over eight years.
PM Realty Eyes Bay Area
The Roseview Evergreen Fund and PM Realty Group just formed a $250M fund to buy and reposition US office properties. One target market is the Bay Area, PM EVP Jim Proehl tells us. He's looking at submarkets that are just beginning to recover and where value-add opportunities still exist (that could be by adding capital and improving the marketing, leasing and operations of a building). Locally, the initial focus will be on East Bay, where it currently handles Alameda Point and where he thinks there's still value to be found in certain submarkets. He did bid on a value-add office project in S.F. earlier this year, but finding value-add projects in the city is becoming very difficult, he notes. He's continuing to search there, however. Another option: projects where they could change the use to increase value.
ULI's Mid-Market Tour
The Mid-Market area is so hot that ULI hosted a sold-out deal crawl on a recent Friday afternoon. Above, they're on the rooftop of Hudson Pacific's 1455 Market St, the home of Uber and Square, which has a helipad on top. You can see Emerald Fund's 100 Van Ness on the right, which showed off its rooftop amenity space. The tour also stopped at AvalonBay's 55 9th St.
At Twitter's HQ, Amy Cohen of the S.F. Office of Economic & Workforce Development chatted about the city's role in revitalizing the Mid-Market area. At our private Twitter tour last week, Shorenstein's Jim Collins told us his firm was once interested in buying 100 Van Ness (above) but the floor plates were too small for prime office product; it's much better as apartments, he says.
Don't Miss Our Residential Summit
S.F. is quickly becoming one of the hottest places to live in the country, causing a decrease in residential inventory. The tech boom is causing units to fill up fast as young professionals continue to crave an urban lifestyle. With many new projects developing, come see our all-star panelists discuss the latest trends and topics and future of for-sale residential real estate throughout the Bay Area at Hotel Nikko this Thursday, Aug. 7 at Bisnow's Residential Real Estate Summit (register here). Hear from housing experts like Crescent Heights' Adam Tartakovsky, Wilson Meany's Kim Havens, AGI Capital's Eric Tao, and more.
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